This week’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling averaged 197K and scored a 0.06 rating in the 18-49 demographic. This is WAY up from last week’s 153K and one of their highest ratings since AXS began subscribing to Neilson. The show ranked #117 in the Showbuzz Top 150. IMPACT in 60 at 10pm averaged 111K with a 0.03 rating and ranked #142, which I believe is the first time it’s ever been ranked. The IMPACT in 60 show was dedicated to classic NJPW vs IMPACT matches, showcasing their long relationship. That show being ranked is a big win for both IMPACT and New Japan.
Mike’s Take: With the buzz about FinJuice showing up, the forbidden door being open, and no more Impeachment, I assumed the ratings would be higher than last week, but this number blew me away. According to Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics, IMPACT’s ratings declines are minimal compared to the overall declines of cable TV and have shown positive growth in key areas.
If you’re AXS TV you have to be genuinely excited for IMPACT’s success. It is far and away their top rated show, in fact only one other show has cracked the Top 150 even once. If they can somehow manage to get above that 200K mark and get in to the top 100, that would be a sweet spot to attract more and bigger sponsors. If AXS is going to get clearances by more cable networks they are going to need more than just one show performing at that level. When (IF) Combate Americas comes back, they could possibly upgrade the stations average, depending on if they keep the show head to head with Bellator, which has been moved to ShowTime on Friday nights at 9pm, the old Combate slot.
This week’s episode was helped by an incredible TV match between TJP and Josh Alexander for the X-Division title. It was a hot way to start the show and social media was buzzing, which was likely a big help. FinJuice looked great against the returning Reno Scum. After their match the Good Brothers came out, made some insider references and tried slipping in some ads for their alcohol. It appears Gallows and Anderson are saving their best stuff for Dynamite and BTE. FinJuice rebutted the underwhelming promo from the GB’s with a meh promo of their own. Juice Robinson is a fantastic promo so I hope we get more fire in that realm. Still excited for a match between the two teams. Matt Cardona and Brian Myers continued their feud and I honestly don’t care. The only other thing of note is that it looks like Moose put Dreamer out for awhile as we covered yesterday. Their match was short and sweet and Moose looked strong. Nothing else of note happened but IMPACT is always a fun and easy watch that just breezed by for me and had an excellent opening match, so a good episode with a strong rating. Lets see if it caries over.
Before the IMPACT (BTI) debuted the hour before, and it was definitely a show. If you have an extra hour in life and are dying for a kayfabe preview show, well its perfect for you. Decay and XXXL wrestled with Decay getting the W. Wish their hot new act was on the main episode but I get why their aired it here, they wanted to attract more viewers. Not so sure how this is gonna work going forward.
NEWS AND NOTES
IMPACT announced that the competitors in the X-Division 6 man tag match, where the winning team will face off in a triple threat match the following week will be Trey, Willie, and Josh Alexander vs Ace Austin, Bey, and Taurus. While unconfirmed, this is likely the spot that Guevara was supposed to be in. Mike Johnson of PWInsider revealed that Taurus replaced Guevara in the matches that were planned for him. There were a couple of people online thinking that IMPACT was trying to put Sammy in Decay, and that is not only untrue, but absurd. Looks like IMPACT wanted him to mix it up with top X-Division talent. I think he was right to turn it down, there was no real story or connection. He was supposedly a three week loaner. Considering Sammy is about to make a semi-babyface run against Jericho and MJF, it would make sense to slot him in a similar position. Having him team with heels for no reason for a shot at a title he wasn’t gonna get doesn’t make a ton of sense. With that said, having his team win the tag match and then having him lose without taking the pin would not have hurt him at all, it would just be a waste of time. But according to the reports, it looks like this was all planned at the last minute and IMPACT is taping weeks in advance so they just did not have another spot for him.
IMPACT also announced the return of Sacrifice, which will air on March 13th on IMPACT Plus. No matches were announced, but they are on a roll with these shows. Genesis and No Surrender were both pretty good and worth the Free price tag. Seriously, they are always free. I’m never paying for IMPACT plus again. There’s always something wrong with it, new shows are free, and the playback option is completely broken.